Another day, another godman found guilty of rape.
India is the land of gods and the same goes for apparent godmen who consider themselves the some of the biggest devotees of the god and the one who have the access to reach him. Millions of people in India currently follow atleast one of these hundreds of godmen and months after months, more and more of these godmen are getting convicted for their crimes.
The recent one being Asaram Bapu who has been in jail for almost four years now, ever since a case against him was registered in 2013 of raping a 16-year-old girl. While his existence has always been felt fishy for non-supporters, the Jodhpur case shed light on the brutality with which godmen like him function.
But on Wednesday, Special Judge Madhusudhan Sharma delivered the verdict in a makeshift court at the Jodhpur Central Jail, where Asaram Bapu has been lodged since 2013. And, as per the judgement, Asaram has been found guilty of rape.
Elaborate security arrangements were made with Section 144 being imposed in the city. The charge sheet had named Asaram and four others — Sanchita alias Shilpi, Sharad Chandra alias Sharat Chandra, Prakash and Shiva alias Sava Ram Hethvadiya. Asaram is charged under sections of the POCSO Act, Juvenile Justice Act, and IPC
Before the judgement was to be pronounced, security in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Haryana was beefed up as directed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and additional forces were deployed in order to ensure that there was no violence. Something that usually happens whenever an influential man, especially a godman, is convicted of his crimes.
Asaram is not a small godman, but one with world-wide supporters and an extremely heavy and influential bank balance. In 2014, investigators estimated the value of this wealth at between Rs 9,000 crore and Rs 10,000 crore, “in the form of bank accounts and other investments including shares, debentures and government bonds.” This figure did not include the value of the land held by Asaram’s ashrams across several states, as reported by The Caravan.
The pronouncement on Asaram case was something the entire country was looking forward to and it had rightly gripped the nation-wide attention. And, as the pronouncement was made official, social media started booming with tweets on the case. Many hailed the judgement given by the court. Here are some of the reactions of the pronouncement on Asaram’s case.
So, Asaram is a child rapist. And he has been found guilty. Good.
But can people please stop sharing images of him with PM Modi. Patronising him before he was exposed to be a pervert is no crime.
Let’s be fair and give him the benefit of doubt that he, like us, did not know.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) April 25, 2018
God needs to change his hiring policy or fire his H.R. department because the last few Godmen have really hurt his image.
— Kautuk Srivastava (@Cowtuk) April 25, 2018
Amassing wealth around Rs 10K crores, Asaram Bapu was the richest self styled guru in the world till 2013.For #AsaramVerdict today,Jodhpur turns into fortress with section 144 imposed. Violence in the name of a ‘saint’?#AsaramCaseVerdict #WednesdayWisdom pic.twitter.com/RPYBYkvYfR
— Geetika Swami (@SwamiGeetika) April 25, 2018
From riches to rags…
From saint to sinner….
From AsaramBapu to HeyRam
Wheel of justice are slow but they grind hard.#AsaramVerdict #AsaramGuilty pic.twitter.com/4whXQ1LYOt
— Capt Sudhir Dixit (@dixitsudhir12) April 25, 2018
We can stop calling him "the accused" and start calling him "The Rapist" #AsaramVerdict
— Jasdeep Singh JD (Velly) (@JasdeepSinghJD) April 25, 2018
#Asaram, the self-styled godman is now a court-pronounced rapist. #AsaramVerdict
— T S Sudhir (@Iamtssudhir) April 25, 2018
After hearing the #AsaramVerdict
— Ashwin Mushran (@ashwinmushran) April 25, 2018
So, we can officially remove 'Ram', 'Bapu' and 'Ji' from Asaram Bapu Ji …
He is just another rapist dressed like a saint.
His blind followers will still defend him. Wonder what makes people so blind!#Asaram #AsaramBapu #AsaramCaseVerdict
— Sarsij Nayanam (@sarsij) April 25, 2018
No more an accused, he is now the Child Rapist Asaram
Big Salute to the nine witnesses who dared to testify against him and were attacked. In last 4 yrs, Three witnesses had been murdered after they spoke against him. May they rest in peace 🙏#AsaramVerdict pic.twitter.com/ZbsB9lK1Zm
— Dhruv Rathee 🇮🇳 (@dhruv_rathee) April 25, 2018
Pic 1. Before #AsaramBapu verdict
Pic 2. After #Asaram Bapu verdict
The agenda is blind criticism, no matter what.@tehseenp #AsaramVerdict#AsaramGuilty #AsaramConvicted pic.twitter.com/OD9uJuB4yX
— Geetika Swami (@SwamiGeetika) April 25, 2018
The case was registered by the family member of the victim who hailed from Uttar Pradesh in 2013. And, even though the judgement came a bit too late, it finally did, ending the years-long misery of the witnesses as well as, of the family that booked the charge against him.